Weekend reads: Tesla's bid for the world's largest battery; - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Storage, Solar, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  April 4, 2020

Weekend reads: Tesla's bid for the world's largest battery; Renewables attract investors amid COVID-19

It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.

Wind, Solar Farms Are Seen as Havens in Coronavirus Storm (Wall Street Journal) Wind and solar farms are attracting interest from investors hungry for low-risk, stable-yield opportunities at a time of extraordinary market volatility. That interest is a boon for renewable projects, and could give them a financial boost in coming months and years. However, developers could face challenges in getting additional new projects financed and built amid the turmoil created by the new coronavirus.

The missing puzzle piece for getting to 100% clean power (Vox) Across the country, dozens of cities and states have passed laws or resolutions targeting 100 percent carbon-free electricity — most recently 20 communities in Utah and the state of Virginia. But is it even possible to power a modern economy with a carbon-free grid? And if so, what are the best energy sources and technologies for getting there? These questions have been the source of raging debate among energy wonks for many years but have moved closer to mainstream political discourse since the introduction of the Green New Deal.

A New Solar-Panel Plant Could Have Capacity to Meet Half of Global Demand (Bloomberg) GCL System Integration Technology Co. plans to build the world’s biggest solar-panel manufacturing plant, with capacity to meet half of global demand. The Chinese manufacturer plans to invest 18 billion yuan ($2.54 billion) to construct a facility in eastern Hefei province that will be able to produce 60 gigawatts of solar panels a year, GCL System said in a filing to the Shenzhen stock exchange on March 27. It didn’t provide a timeline.

Tesla bids to deploy one of the biggest batteries in the world with 244 Megapacks in Hawaii (Electrek) Tesla is working on a bid to deploy one of the biggest battery systems in the world with 244 Megapacks, Tesla’s latest giant battery system, on a Hawaiian island. After a lot of rumors and anticipation, Tesla launched its “Megapack” last year. It’s the company’s latest energy storage product, after the Powerpack and the Powerwall, and it is meant as an even bigger option targeting electric utility projects. According to Tesla, a single Megapack has up to 3MWh of storage capacity and a 1.5MW inverter.

Vodka From Thin Air: An Unusual Climate Prize Hits a Coronavirus Snag (The New York Times) In 2017, Stafford Sheehan handed a friend an unusual bottle of booze. He had made it himself — but not the usual way. A chemical physicist, Dr. Sheehan had invented a process to make alcohol from carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas associated with climate change, not cocktail hour. “I said, ‘Hold on, you made this from carbon dioxide?’” recalled his friend, Gregory Constantine, who worked in marketing for Smirnoff. Now the two are in the vodka business, using Dr. Sheehan’s technology and marketing it as a way to fight global warming.

 


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